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Glossary » Business and Marketing

80/20 rule

A principle for setting priorities: users will use 20% of the features of your product 80% of the time. Focus the majority of your design and development effort (80%) on the most important 20% of the product.

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Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. This classic advertising model says that an advertisement (and by extension, many effective user interfaces) ought to function by getting people’s attention, stimulating their interest, generating a desire, and then finishing with a call to action.…

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attract-mode opening

when a software application is started, it will often immediately enter a sequence which demos or explains or at least shows a lot of pizzazz of the product, especially in games and multimedia titles. This demo mode or “attract-mode” is…

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baseline is basically where things “are” in the sense that what we see is what is being done by a “majority” within a competitive space. Now you could argue that, because most are doing something, more audiences experience the same…

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best practices

the things that we do in recognition and presentation of natural workflows, hierarchies and priorities, cues, integration (physical vs. mental), etc. Labels, on the other hand, come and go — best practices endure, for the most part, longer than labels…

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business process reengineering, the analysis of how work is done within a business and how it can be restructured for greater efficiency and profitability, especially by examining the workflow within the organization.

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brand identity

the aspect of a design that establishes a unique look and feel distinct from competing products but consistent within the product and its product line. The identity has these advantages:

it maintains a consistency that helps a user orient and

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Brooks’ Law

“Adding manpower to a late project makes it later.”

– from The Mythical Man-Month

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business goals

part of the context in which user interface design takes place is the need for any design to satisfy not only the user’s goals but also the goals of the business producing the application, goals such as profitability and marketability.…

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candy box

in website design, a small box or sidebar that may appear anywhere within a page that hilites interesting tidbits, quotes, small ads, asides, or chunks of related navigation. Often it is a small graphic used like a banner ad and…

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on a website or web application, a conversion is any action taken by a user that satisfies the website owner’s business goals. Common examples include signing up for an email newsletter, making a purchase, or viewing an important web page.…

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cost justification

providing an economic argument for usability, for instance, by providing the value proposition…

Developer value proposition:

reduce development costs through an improved design model and fewer last-minute changes reduce customer support costs by decreasing the need for customer support and

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cost-benefit analysis

a comparison of the cost of a new system to the benefits of its use. This helps to evaluate the value of adopting new computer equipment and also to evaluate the merits of performing usability analyses and redesigning a user…

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cost-effectiveness evaluation

a comparison of the cost of implementing a new information system or upgrading an existing one to the costs that would be involved in retaining the existing way of doing things (i.e. the legacy system or the non-computerized approach). A…

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customer experience

the user experience, mostly called “customer experience” when referring to e-commerce websites; the totality of the experience of a user when visiting a website. Their impressions and feelings. Whether they’re successful. Whether they enjoy themselves. Whether they feel like coming…

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customer loyalty

a measure of the success of a design is how frequently the user uses it, how often users return to a website, how often they recommend it to friends, and how often they buy similar products from the same company…

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customer support

sometimes “tech support”; assistance provided to a user after the purchase of software to solve problems with the product, such as bugs, installation problems, data recovery, usability problems, and so forth. This support is often available through a hot line,…

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demand pull

technology development that is driven by user needs and requirements (demand), rather than by ideas or capabilities created by the development organization.

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design for manufacture

a term from industrial design that emphasizes the importance of making tradeoffs so that designs are actually practical to manufacture at reasonable costs, in a reasonable amount of time, given the resources, personnel, and tools available. User interface designers need…

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design-prototype-test cycle

a design process methodology of driving changes in design through successive instantiations of the design that are evaluated through some type of user testing, user feedback, or inspection technique.

1. design – generate ideas, analyze, and create solutions

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designer management

the approach of having the designer of software manage the development project, thus ensuring that design considerations are not inappropriately compromised in the development process.

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Diamond Bullet

the company, Diamond Bullet Design, that created this Usability First website. Diamond Bullet specializes in usability evaluation and design services for internet and software products.

A “diamond bullet” is the typographic term for the diamond-shaped bullet points used in bulleted…

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discount usability

an approach to usability that seeks ways to optimize usability methods for cost-effectiveness. For instance, how can the number of users tested in user-testing be minimized while still maintaining the validity of the test? Can heuristics be found that will…

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electronic commerce; broadly defined, any use of the internet to facilitate buying, selling, or any other kind of commercial transaction. Most often refers to websites that display product information and allow online purchasing and payment.

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extreme programming

an approach to managing programming projects to maximize the quality output of programming teams and optimize shared knowledge and training. The technique relies on pairs of programmers sharing a single computer and collaboratively solving problems. Programming tasks are kept to…

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